Discipline. The very word can sometimes seem oppressive. In our modern and bustling society, it’s easy to forget the importance of self-control. We seek a sense of freedom and spontaneity, often learning our lessons the hard way.

As we recover from our occasional missteps, we come to realize the true power of self-discipline, and how self-discipline can lead to true personal sovereignty.

The idea of discipline resonates in multiple facets of our life, from sports to personal growth and spirituality.

It’s a fundamental principle of resilience, of embracing life’s most daunting challenges and hardships. From diet and exercise to finance and psychological management, discipline is a prerequisite to success.

This collection of quotes on self-discipline distills the wisdom of some of history’s greatest minds. These words will provide you with guidance and clarity on your own journey of self-improvement.

Quotes About Self-Control and Controlling Your Emotions


“He who conquers himself is the mightiest warrior.”

– Confucius

Confucius on Discipline Quotes

In this quote, Confucius encapsulates the essence of true strength and power. He suggests that the ultimate act of bravery and victory lies not in conquering external foes, but in mastering one’s own impulses, desires, and weaknesses. Confucius emphasizes the importance of self-discipline, self-awareness, and self-control as the keys to personal empowerment and greatness. This quote serves as a profound reminder that true strength comes from within and that the ability to overcome oneself is the pinnacle of achievement. It reflects Confucius’ timeless wisdom and the enduring relevance of his teachings on self-mastery and moral character.


“The first and greatest victory is to conquer yourself.”

– Plato

Plato on Discipline Quotes

Plato’s quote encapsulates the essence of personal growth and inner transformation. He suggests that the most significant triumph one can achieve is not external conquests or victories over others, but the mastery of oneself. By conquering our own fears, doubts, and weaknesses, we attain a sense of inner harmony and fulfillment that surpasses any external achievement. This quote underscores the importance of self-awareness, self-discipline, and self-improvement as essential components of a meaningful and fulfilling life. It reflects Plato’s profound insight into the human condition and the timeless wisdom of ancient philosophy in guiding individuals towards self-realization and personal excellence.

Aldous Huxley

“Experience is not what happens to you — it’s how you interpret what happens to you.”

– Aldous Huxley

Aldous Huxley on Discipline Quotes

In this quote, Aldous Huxley offers a profound perspective on the nature of experience and its interpretation. He suggests that the significance of an experience lies not solely in the events themselves but rather in how we choose to understand and interpret them. Huxley emphasizes the subjective nature of experience, highlighting the power of perception and perspective in shaping our understanding of the world. This quote underscores the importance of mindfulness and self-awareness in navigating life’s challenges and opportunities. By recognizing our capacity to interpret experiences in different ways, we gain agency over our own narratives and can cultivate a more positive and resilient outlook on life.

Johann Wolfgang von Goethe

“To think is easy. To act is hard. But the hardest thing in the world is to act in accordance with your thinking.”

– Johann Wolfgang von Goethe

Johann Wolfgang von Goethe on Discipline Quotes

In this quote, Johann Wolfgang von Goethe reflects on the challenges of aligning thought with action. He suggests that while it may be relatively simple to conceive of ideas or plans (“to think”), putting them into practice (“to act”) requires considerable effort and determination. However, Goethe emphasizes that the most difficult task of all is ensuring that one’s actions consistently reflect their beliefs, values, and intentions (“to act in accordance with your thinking”). This quote highlights the importance of integrity, consistency, and authenticity in one’s actions, underscoring the ongoing struggle to bridge the gap between thought and behavior. It serves as a reminder of the complexity of human nature and the constant striving for alignment between our ideals and our actions.

Benjamin Franklin

“Whatever is begun in anger, ends in shame.”

– Benjamin Franklin

Benjamin Franklin on Discipline Quotes

In this quote, Benjamin Franklin encapsulates the consequences of acting impulsively out of anger. He suggests that actions initiated in a state of anger often lead to regret and embarrassment. Franklin highlights the destructive nature of anger, emphasizing its potential to cloud judgment and lead to unfavorable outcomes. This quote serves as a cautionary reminder of the importance of tempering our emotions and exercising restraint in moments of anger. It underscores the wisdom of approaching conflicts with patience, understanding, and rationality, rather than allowing anger to dictate our actions and decisions.

Lao Tzu

“Mastering others is strength. Mastering yourself is true power.”

– Lao Tzu

Lao Tzu on Discipline Quotes

In this quote, Lao Tzu, an ancient Chinese philosopher, distinguishes between two forms of power: the power to control others and the power to control oneself. He suggests that while exerting authority over others may demonstrate strength, the true essence of power lies in mastering one’s own thoughts, emotions, and actions. Lao Tzu emphasizes the importance of self-discipline, self-awareness, and self-mastery as the ultimate sources of personal empowerment. This quote serves as a profound reminder of the transformative potential inherent in cultivating inner strength and resilience. It highlights the timeless wisdom of ancient philosophy in guiding individuals towards a deeper understanding of true power and fulfillment.


“If someone succeeds in provoking you, realize that your mind is complicit in the provocation.”

– Epictetus

Epictetus on Discipline Quotes

Epictetus, a Stoic philosopher, offers insight into the nature of emotional reactions in this quote. He suggests that when someone manages to provoke us, it’s not solely due to their actions, but also because our own mind has allowed itself to be affected. Epictetus emphasizes the importance of self-awareness and self-control in managing our responses to external stimuli. By recognizing our role in the reaction, we can take ownership of our emotions and choose a more measured and composed response. This quote serves as a reminder of the power of perspective and mindfulness in navigating interpersonal interactions and maintaining inner peace.

Oli Anderson

“Unleash in the right time and place before you explode at the wrong time and place.”

– Oli Anderson

Oli Anderson on Discipline Quotes

In this quote, Oli Anderson offers a valuable insight into the importance of emotional regulation. He suggests that instead of allowing emotions to build up until they result in an explosive reaction, it’s crucial to find appropriate opportunities to express them in a controlled manner. Anderson advises individuals to unleash their emotions at the right time and place, where they can be expressed constructively and without causing harm. This quote serves as a reminder of the significance of self-awareness and managing emotions effectively to maintain healthy relationships and navigate challenging situations with grace and composure.

Mavis Mazhura

“Emotions can get in the way or get you on the way.”

– Mavis Mazhura

Mavis Mazhura on Discipline Quotes

In this quote by Mavis Mazhura, she succinctly captures the dual nature of emotions as both potential obstacles and catalysts for progress. Mazhura suggests that emotions have the power to either hinder or propel us towards our goals. Depending on how we perceive and manage them, emotions can either impede our path forward or serve as valuable motivators and guides. This quote underscores the importance of emotional intelligence and self-awareness in navigating life’s challenges and opportunities. It serves as a reminder that our relationship with our emotions ultimately determines whether they hinder our progress or facilitate our journey towards success and fulfillment.

Robert K. Cooper

“If we lack emotional intelligence, whenever stress rises the human brain switches to autopilot and has an inherent tendency to do more of the same, only harder.  Which, more often than not, is precisely the wrong approach in today’s world.”

– Robert K. Cooper

Robert K. Cooper on Discipline Quotes

In this quote, Robert K. Cooper highlights the significance of emotional intelligence in managing stress effectively. He suggests that without emotional intelligence, individuals are prone to defaulting to habitual responses when faced with stress, which may not be conducive to optimal outcomes. Cooper emphasizes that relying solely on instinctive reactions can often exacerbate challenges, particularly in the complexities of the modern world. This quote underscores the importance of developing emotional intelligence to cultivate more adaptive and nuanced responses to stressors. It serves as a reminder of the value of self-awareness and mindful decision-making in navigating today’s fast-paced and dynamic environment.

Hermann Hesse

“I am superior to you only in one point: I’m awake, whereas you are only half awake, or completely asleep sometimes. I call a man awake who knows in his conscious reason his innermost unreasonable force, drives, and weaknesses and knows how to deal with them.”

– Hermann HesseNarcissus and Goldmund

Hermann Hesse on Discipline Quotes

In this quote from Hermann Hesse’s novel “Narcissus and Goldmund,” the character asserts his superiority not in external accomplishments or abilities, but in his level of self-awareness. He defines being awake as the conscious recognition and understanding of one’s own inner motivations, desires, and flaws. The character suggests that true awakening involves embracing both the rational and irrational aspects of one’s nature and learning how to navigate them effectively. This quote serves as a reminder of the importance of self-awareness and introspection in personal growth and development. It underscores the idea that true wisdom and mastery come from knowing oneself deeply and being able to harness one’s inner forces in pursuit of a more fulfilling life.

Bruce Lee

“You will continue to suffer if you have an emotional reaction to everything that is said to you. True power is sitting back and observing everything with logic; if words control you that means everyone else can control you. Breathe and allow things to pass.”

– Bruce Lee

Bruce Lee on Discipline Quotes

In this quote, Bruce Lee offers valuable insight into emotional intelligence and resilience. He suggests that reacting emotionally to every comment or situation can lead to ongoing suffering and a loss of personal power. Lee advocates for maintaining a sense of calm detachment and using logic to observe events objectively. He emphasizes the importance of not allowing words or external circumstances to dictate one’s emotions or actions. Instead, Lee advises taking a step back, breathing, and allowing things to pass, thereby regaining control and preserving inner peace. This quote serves as a reminder of the significance of emotional self-regulation and the power of perspective in navigating life’s challenges with grace and resilience.

Marcus Aurelius

“The soul becomes dyed with the color of its thoughts.”

– Marcus AureliusMeditations

Marcus Aurelius on Discipline Quotes

In this quote from Marcus Aurelius’ “Meditations,” the philosopher reflects on the profound influence of thoughts on the soul. He suggests that the nature of one’s inner world, as shaped by thoughts and perceptions, determines the essence of their being. Just as dye permeates and colors fabric, so too do thoughts shape and define the soul. Aurelius emphasizes the importance of cultivating positive and virtuous thoughts, as they contribute to the overall character and quality of one’s soul. This quote serves as a poignant reminder of the power of mindfulness and the role of thoughts in shaping personal growth and spiritual development.